Audixium and cjh404,
First, thanks for all of the help!
Yes, I was venting a little bit, but I still asked (seriously) for assistance. I have nothing against comcast per se. I've been fairly happy with their service overall. I'm just really ticked off that instead of just leaving the expanded basic package in the clear (as analog has been for so long), they're requiring these stupid boxes. What the heck is the point of a built-in QAM tuner if they're making the point to render them useless?
Also, comast promoted the fact that the dtv transition wouldn't affect their customers, going as far as to say they would stay analog for the "forseeable future", yet beginning to roll out their all-digital system (Project Calvary) in other parts of the country. Double speak, no? It makes it a real pain in the rear for my secondary DTV (and my computer), as I now have to have yet another remote.
I knew having only one remote for the bedroom TV was too easy! Note that I'm not exactly the only one who is unhappy: http://blog.comcast.com/2009/05/goin...-internet.html
Secondly, the hassle this will be for my in-laws will become MY headache.
I can see myself having to explain (and re-explain) to them everytime I'm over there how to run their old tv's and vcr in a new way. I mean seriously, this is not exactly easy for the elderly! "No,no,no. You have to use this remote to turn the tv on, then change it to channel 3, then use this remote to change channels..." "Now, to use your VCR, you have to put it on channel 3, then set the channel you want to record on this little box, then record that. But be careful, you can't change the channel after that or it won't record what you want." See what I'm saying? It is just getting too complicated for them.
Also, fwiw, I REALLY don't like the answer "well, if you'd just upgrade to xxx it wouldn't be a problem." A)I don't want to spend yet MORE money just to make it "easier". I'd be lying if I said I didn't believe that profit (and enhanced profit from more equipment rentals now) isn't a big part of why comcast is doing this. B)I also don't want to hassle with changing over to satellite if I can avoid it. That would mean I'd have to mount dishes and redo all of my TV boxes. I just don't have the time!
I've been out of town on and off (mostly on) for a good part of the year till now. I haven't had the time to even think about dealing with this until now. I had hoped for some assistance here. Instead, I've spent several hours looking elsewhere
trying to learn about how these DTA things operate and how I'm going to try and implement them.
Does anyone know if I bought an additional DTA (off ebay or some such) or used one of mine over at my in-laws, if it would be a problem so long as I registered the SN of that box with the account for that address? Would comcast know/care if I have a box they didn't give me (or one that was meant for somewhere else) at a said address, so long as it was activated properly at that address? I'm wondering if I (or my in-laws) can avoid the $2/month fee if we need more DTA's so long as I follow their rules (it's not like I'm trying to get something for free). Comcast is being very evasive in answering this for me.
Originally Posted by dvdmth
Sending the DTA (and the acronym is DTA, not DAT) through a VCR will work just fine. I've seen this suggested before in cases where someone wants to use a DTA (or older video game console that has only RF out) with a display that lacks an analog tuner but has composite input. Note that this is only an issue for the cheap DTA's Comcast is using to hook up the second and third TV's in the transition. Everyone with at least Expanded Basic is entitled to one "full-service" cable box (such as a Motorola DCT/DCH/DCX) in addition to two digital adapters (DTA's). The full-service cable boxes have multiple output options, not just RF, and can tune the full channel lineup, not just the Basic/Expanded Basic channels.
The reason DTA's need to be connected to the cable input at all times is to remain in contact with the head-end. If there is a software update, a change in the channel mappings, or some other service change, the DTA (and all cable-issued boxes for that matter) must be in contact with the head-end to receive the new software/mappings/etc. and stay in sync with the cable service being offered. If the box does not receive the info, it will not function as expected. I know someone who used to work for Comcast and took more than a few calls from people running into this problem after unplugging boxes to conserve energy (cable boxes are known to use the same amount of power whether they're on or off). Also, I'm pretty sure if a box is disconnected long enough, it loses authorization and therefore needs to be re-activated.
THAT was a helpful post!!!